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Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s new pick for the Supreme Court

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Tom Meadowcroft

He's recognized as a superb legal scholar. He'll write intelligent and learned opinions, which will serve as useful guides to lower courts. That all makes him an improvement on Kennedy. Yes, he's a conservative, but anyone nominated by a Republican is going to be conservative, more conservative than the public. Similarly, all of the Democratic nominees are more liberal than the public (I just saw a study in the NYT). The Supreme Court is a lousy place from which to try to govern a country.
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The Democrats need to start achieving their political goals through electoral politics, rather than through lawyers taking cases to 9 un-elected Harvard and Yale graduates. Supreme Court decisions are a crutch which has encouraged 30 years of neglecting the mechanisms of electoral politics, which is what the Democratic party should have been focused on. The path back from the wilderness will not be through lawsuits and judges, but through popular electoral victories. The Democratic party needs to focus on the next election, at all levels, and then the next one after that. The Republicans fought for two generations to wrest control of the Supreme Court back after what the Warren Court produced, and they have won. It's over. It may be 7-2 in a couple of years. Let's get back to governing through legislatures and elections.

guest-omnnmei

This guy is a doctrinaire alt-right Republican in a black robe.
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Kavanaugh wants to return social America back to the 1950's and business America back to the 1880's.

guest-omnnmei in reply to guest-omnnmei

This Kavanaugh guy thinks a president should be immune from litigation while in office because it would be a distraction.
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Well now, we wouldn't want Comrade Donald distracted from his golf outings, chats with Putin's useful idiot and the shadow president Sean Insannity, and we especially wouldn't want him getting distracted from coming in to work at the crack of 11:00 am. The time before that being Faux News watching time styled as "executive time."

Col Bob

I don't think the author understands how our government in a Republic works and the role of legal scholars.

"Can a president be indicted while in office? Can he be tried for a crime? After playing an integral role in drafting the articles of impeachment for Bill Clinton, Mr Kavanaugh had a change of heart. A 1998 law review article had him mulling “whether the constitution allows indictment of a sitting president”. That question is “debatable”, he wrote. Eleven years later, he implored Congress to consider “exempting a president—while in office—from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel"

These were words by Judge Kavanaugh in one of America's premier Law Reviews, the University of Minnesota. The Constituti0n establishes numerous protections of our governmental leaders - members of Congress have absolute immunity for anything they say on the floor of Congress. The object is to allow a free and open debate of any subject. We have over 50 Federal Court jurisdictions and perhaps ten times that in state court jurisdictions in the United States. Each jurisdiction has an independent prosecutor. The government could not function if we allowed any prosecutor to decide to charge a President with a crime. The Constitution is specific on how a President can be removed from Office - Impeachment by the House and a vote to remove by the Senate. Once he is removed from office he may be prosecuted for any crimes but until then he has to be free from the possible harassment of multiple political adversaries.

To say Judge Kavanaugh "implored" Congress to exempt a sitting President from investigation and prosecution is unwarranted political opinion not worthy of The Economist.
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guest-omnnmei in reply to Col Bob

"The Constituti0n establishes numerous protections of our governmental leaders - members of Congress have absolute immunity for anything they say on the floor of Congress." Col Bob
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Hypothetical: a member of an intelligence committee announces on the floor of Congress the names of US intelligence agents operating in hostile countries. Absolute immunity?
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Before you answer read this:
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"They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place." Article I, Section 6.

guest-aammewej

A journalist at "The Economist" wrote, "The nearly 300 opinions Mr Kavanaugh wrote as an appellate judge place him as a solid and reliable conservative, but few of them give Democrats obvious points of attack."
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One of the principal roles of the federal government is to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens without regard to their ethnicity or race. Justice Brett Kavanaugh must rule against affirmative action (and other forms of preferential treatment) because affirmative action is a system of gross discrimination against Americans of Asian or European ancestry.
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According to a report by the "New York Times", Mayor Bill de Blasio and other Democrats have acceded to the demands of Africans and Hispanics and will create a de facto quota to reduce the number of Asian students at the most competitive high schools in New York City.
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This horrible situation is partially due to the "open borders" of the United States. Hispanic illegal immigration has swelled the Hispanic percentage of the American electorate. Succumbing to the political power of Hispanics, politicians and other officials regularly use affirmative action to rob Asian or European children of their hopes and dreams.
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There is more information about this issue.

Sense Seeker in reply to guest-aammewej

"affirmative action is a system of gross discrimination against Americans of Asian or European ancestry"
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It would be great if affirmative action was no longer necessary, but since a Black or Latino child still has fewer chances to get a good education, that moment has not yet arrived. If we assume that the average level of innate ability doesn't differ by ethnic background, it follows that the differences in educational achievement are caused by racial inequality. And to ensure equal opportunity regardless of ethnicity of race, it makes perfect sense to offer children from such groups extra opportunities to get ahead to compensate for this systemic inequality that works against them.
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And even if you don't agree with the principle, to call it 'robbing Asian or Europen children of their hopes and dreams' is hyperbole. They're not the wussies you make them out to be, and they may not share your hopes. They may dream about a world that has a place for everyone regardless of race, and in which everyone has enough to satisfy their needs (but not necessarily their greed).

guest-olniijw

This should be quite an interesting pick. Apparently, Kavanaugh was one of the principal authors of the "Starr Report" which included suggestions about why it is an impeachable offense to "Endeavor to obstruct justice," 'Fail[...] to "faithfully execute the laws,"' as well as to lie to White House staffers. All of which Trump does on a daily basis.

I have always said that the most powerful forces in American politics are hypocrisy and hyperbole. We should see plenty of both during these confirmation proceedings.

More details here: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kavanaugh-argued-a-long-list-of-i...

Angus Cunningham

***“[A] president who is concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation”, he concluded, “is almost inevitably going to do a worse job”.***
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Almost inevitably, eh? Kavanaugh wrote that at a time when Obama was president. Today, the occupant of the Oval office is widely described as endangering democracy, not only in the US but now even among its democratic allies. Certainly I have that view. If in the future Kavanaugh is called upon to participate in Supreme Court rulings on cases resulting from (a) the Mueller investigation, (b) the Cohen investigation, (c) the Stormy/Avenatti suit, (d) many States' AGs on the subject of Trumpian immigration policy, Kavanagh is going to be mighty pleased he included the words 'almost inevitably' in that statement.

john4law

It is a no risk bet that this Nominee is at least as far to the RIGHT as Anton Scalia was. However Scalia told several Judges he would NOT vote to overrule Roe vs Wade believing it was too entrenched in American Jurisprudence at this juncture. I suspect any highly qualified appointee would think twice about overruling Roe vs Wade and dealing with the back lash and endless highly contentious New Bodily Integrity and protection from "harm" cases in the wake of how far Women can be policed and coerced in their reproductive roles!! Sounds like Solomon with all his "experience" (over a thousand wives and concubines!!) would Leave this Pandora's Box closed.

Youngjoe Loh

I think the author errs on the side of certainty to say just one defection from the Republican side can sink the vote without clarification. While I would not be surprised to see Sen McCain unable to vote, Senators have been pushed into the chamber in wheelchairs. Sen Wilson in 1985 was brought over by an ambulance then wheelchair. Senator Byrd, as age 92, in 2009, made multiple appearances in a wheelchair. I would think the article would be more informative to add how Senator McCain's condition affects the vote, with an understanding that while one "nay" Republican vote plus Democrat unity may be enough for stopping the nomination, Sen McCain could show up in a wheelchair (or resign to have his replacement appointed by the Republican Governor of Arizona) and have the confirmation tip back towards Judge Kavanaugh.

homocidalmaniac

It is good for the Supreme Court and good for America. Now it is time to tackle Roe vs. Wade?

Kremilek2

Mr Kavanaugh seems as a rather moderate conservative and that's why his chances are relatively high to become a justice of the SCOTUS. I also find his stance on abortions as moderate and balanced since it is not clear from the beginning why non-US citizens should have the right to abortion by federeal agencies.

Houshu in reply to Kremilek2

Her status of being a non-citizen is not germane to the case here, for she was in federal custody therefore must be accorded the same treatment as citizens in federal prison.
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I'm sure that Mr. Kavanaugh will insist that his decision is based on her being a minor, while the Left will insist that his decision is based on his church's teaching. None will make an issue about her being a non-citizen. In fact, based on recent fiasco about 'family-separation', non-citizens have an advantage over citizens when they can provide some juice for the liberal causes.

Kremilek2 in reply to Houshu

Actually, there were people stressing that she was not a US-citizen.
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I guess that it is not only church teaching. There are simply people who believe that to do a harm to small human being is not moral. It is not really surprising that atheists are not so convinced.

Houshu in reply to Kremilek2

I agree that some pro-lifers may want to profit from the anti-immigrant sentiment, but not anymore.
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Atheists hold that lift just happens, while various religions believe that life begins (at some point of time). Chinese paganism, for example, always believes that life begins when a soul is bestowed upon a developed fetus, shortly before birth, as numerous accounts can attest (see (封神榜), the Chinese equivalence of the Genesis). In Buddhism, reincarnated life may begin long after birth, or even before the current body dies. The current H.H. Dalai Lama could, the neo-buddhist theory goes, reincarnate part of his soul to reside in another person before his body withers away (see JK Rowling's undoubtedly plagiarized story about Horcruxes).

Kremilek2 in reply to Houshu

I appreciate different point of views of different religions. Nevertheless, America is predominantly a Christian country and uses the Bible as a guideline for its moral judgements. I hope that it will remain so.

Houshu in reply to Kremilek2

I, too, appreciate different point of views of different religions.
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However, I doubt that to determine when life begins is a moral judgement. On the other hand, from utilitarianism's point of view, the Chinese paganism condemns induced abortion (for the soul may arrive earlier) and at the same time accepts spontaneous abortion (for that proves that life hasn't begin yet), while the Christian belief may require a large purgatory (sort of like an immigration detention center?) to house spontaneous abortionists (say to be as high as 10 to 20 percent of the first pregnancies).

Kremilek2 in reply to Houshu

You seem to differentiate between when the life begins and when the soul appears. I guess that Christians don't make such a difference which makes an opposition against abortion clearly understanble. It is not surprising then that Chinese are more flexible.

Houshu in reply to Kremilek2

Not differentiate, but rather, identify.
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From the theological point of view, to define 'life begins with the arrival of the soul' is much better (in whatever the sense) than to define 'life begins at conception'. The later defines an event (life begins) that is steeped in spirituality and religiosity by a mundane biological process (conception). Heresy of first degree, no doubt.
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Of course, the 'flexibility' you mentioned above was necessary due to high infant mortality rate in the old days. Tibetan high lamas are identified with almost a physical examination of healthy boys. To make sure that the reincarnation can recognize and grab holly relics among other trinkets, can act and even speak in old lama's manners. So the regent can sing:
"When I find myself in time of searching,
boy lama appears to me,
speaking words of wisdom,
let Him be....
(chorus)
Let Him be, let Him be, let Him be, let Him be.....

Kremilek2 in reply to Houshu

'life begins with the arrival of the soul'
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But when the soul arrives? This is a very tricky question since nobody remembers.
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Infant mortality was very high till only very recently so it is not surprising that it is deeply written in almost every culture.

Houshu in reply to Kremilek2

'But when the soul arrives? This is a very tricky question since nobody remembers'
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Very true. That's why a Confucian once said: "It's only human to not remember ones soul's previous residence, but it's holy to strive for ones soul's next residence to be a more enlightened one"...
I think that's pretty much the essence of reincarnation ((修来世) in Chinese).

Kremilek2 in reply to Houshu

I agree with you about the essence of reincarnation. But monotheistic religions don't believe in it and offer eternal pleasure for those behaving morally on the Earth. It seems that this idea improves the morality of the whole society.

Houshu in reply to Kremilek2

In terms of promoting morality and piety, monotheism is no better than polytheism.
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In fact, a reasonable case can be made that religion, as a whole, was wrecked by the arrival of the deeply insecure monotheism, and still has not recovered.

Kremilek2 in reply to Houshu

I am not that sure since Abrahamic religions stress the morality very much, far beyond e.g. polytheistic religions of ancient Greece and Rome.
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What do you mean by insecure monotheism? Monotheism has been here for thousands of years and it doesn't seem that it should disappear soon.